2012 – A Look Ahead for the Golf Nomad

Happy New Year, everyone!

2011 was a great year for me when it came to golf. I really rediscovered my love for the game, got back on my 50 states goal and was able to play some truly incredible courses. Since August, I was able to play more than 20 courses I’ve never played before and added 3 new states to my list.

I’m looking forward to what 2012 has in store and I hope to continue my momentum into the new year. Hopefully I’ll be able to afford everything I’d like to do on my “wish list”!

The Big Trip(s):

I am hoping to do at least one big golf trip this year and cross a few more states off the list. Originally, I had considered a two-week road trip throughout the Southwest and Midwest. It would be a beast of a vacation and allow me to play in a lot of new states, but I have decided to put that on the back-burner and opt for “destination” trips.

The first one I have in mind is for the Spring and it revolves around the legendary Pinehurst Resort. With eight (yes, eight) world-class courses in the North Carolina resort, I could easily just stay and play there for an entire week. But that wouldn’t be the Golf Nomad way. I do plan to stay and play at least a couple of days there. Course No. 2 is the top-ranked one there and No. 8 is the second-ranked. I plan to play those two courses and at least one other to be determined.

With a little bit of a drive to the Northwest of Pinehurst, I can be in two of America’s other premier golf resorts—The Greenbrier in West Virginia and The Homestead in Virginia. These two resorts are only a short drive away from one another and not terribly far from Pinehurst, so it seems like a perfect grouping. There is also another course in between (The Highlands Course at Primland in Meadows of Dan, VA) that I plan to play. It looks like a cool mountain-style course that’s right up my alley, so it’s worth a stop.

If I choose to forgo quality for quantity, I can potentially add two more states in this trip. The eastern edges of Kentucky and Tennessee are not too far out of the way. No real top-ranked courses in these regions, but I’ve found some courses online that look pretty nice (and pretty inexpensive) in the area if I’m able to swing through.

If I can afford it, I also have another trip idea for the summer that includes flying out to Wisconsin and playing the famed Kohler courses (Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run). Again, this could be a trip in itself, but highly acclaimed Arcadia Bluffs (Michigan) is just a ferry-ride across Lake Michigan and Cog Hill (Illinois) is just a couple hours drive south, so there are possibilities for another multi-state adventure.

Locally speaking, I hope to play a number of Southern California courses I have never visited before. The Journey at Pechanga is high up on the list and my Red Dot discount book has some nice deals for this expensive course. The Golf Club at Glen Ivy is another I’ve been meaning to play that has a good discount in Red Dot. I’d love to get down and finally play at Torrey Pines, but that’s a longshot. In the summer, I may have to take a weekend trip out to the Palm Springs area for some cheap rates and deathly hot weather. The top two courses on my list out there are the La Quinta Mountain course and Silver Rock.

I may make my way up the California coast again. Hunter Ranch and Cypress Ridge is a combo I’d love to set up and if I can get back up to Monterey/Pebble Beach, I want to play some more of those courses, including Poppy Hills and Del Monte. In August, I definitely want to revisit Soule Park in Ojai to use my free Birthday round and play the other course at River Ridge (Vineyard) for free, as well. Speaking of Ventura, Olivas Links is another course I’d like to play and I have already paid for a GroupGolfer.com round at Moorpark Country Club, so I’ll be using that soon.

It’s a lot to consider and I know I won’t have enough time and money to do it all in 2012, but I’d rather set my sights high and do as much as I can before the world comes to an end next December! Damn Mayans.

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